Ivan Oransky is a doctor and journalist and founder, along with Adam Marcus, of a blog called Retraction Watch. The site monitors scientific journals and investigates why articles were retracted. Brooke talks with Oransky, who says that since he and Marcus started the site in 2010 retractions have become more and more frequent.
Famous Boston gangster Whitey Bulger is now on trial in Boston. He’s accused of committing 19 murders, and has also been revealed as a long-time informant for the FBI. Reporter Kevin Cullen was the first to report that Bulger was an FBI informant years ago, and he kept up with the case. Brooke speaks to Cullen about Bulger, and about his new book “Whitey Bulger, America’s Most Wanted Gangster and the Manhunt that Brought Him to Justice.”
Cops and Criminals - Howard Shore
In spite of the ongoing leaks by the Guardian and former NSA contractor Edward Snowden, there is still much that the public doesn't know about government surveillance. Brooke talks to Oregon Senator Ron Wyden, who says that the government needs to better inform the public, and when it does, it needs to be a little more accurate and a little less misleading.
Tom Waits - Clap Hands
Lori Ruff committed suicide on Christmas Eve, 2010, by shooting herself in her in-laws' driveway. The details of her death are clear. But the family she married into knew virtually nothing about her life. After her death they learned that she'd stolen the identity of a child who had died in a fire in 1971. But who was Lori Ruff, really? Brooke talks to The Seattle Times’ Maureen O’Hagan, who's asking readers to help solve this mystery.
Lúnasa - Killarney Boys of Pleasure
Despite the Prop 8 and DOMA rulings, groups like the National Organization for Marriage will continue fighting gay marriage in many states in coming years. Brooke speaks with Thomas Peters, the communications director for the National Organization for Marriage about the past, present and future of the group's messaging.
Four Tet - Harps
The next battles over gay marriage will happen in the states where each side has changed and refined their messaging over the past few years. Brooke talks with Amy Mitchell from the Pew Research Project for Excellence in Journalism about the growing acceptance of gay marriage. Also, gay marriage advocate and researcher David Dodge explains that pro-gay marriage campaigns have only recently found messages that work.
B. Fleischmann - Lemmings
As hydraulic fracturing, commonly known as fracking, continues its spread throughout the nation, oil industry representatives and environmentalists vie for control over coverage of the issue. Brooke speaks to ProPublica's Abrahm Lustgarten about how advocates on both sides of the issue are attempting to control the narrative.
Last week, a bill called the We Are Watching You Act was introduced to the U.S. House of Representatives. It's meant to protect consumers from new technology that could monitor them as they watch TV or play video games. Brooke speaks to Rep. Walter Jones, one of the bill's cosponsors, about why he feels these regulations are necessary.
Brooke asks the Boston Globe's Hiawatha Bray the key question about the We Are Watching You Act: who, exactly, is watching us -- and how?
In a Guardian livechat this week, NSA leaker Edward Snowden advised Americans to consider the trade off they make between privacy and security: "Bathtub falls and police officers kill more Americans than terrorism, yet we've been asked to sacrifice our most sacred rights for fear of falling victim to it." These "X kills more people than Y" comparisons crop up all the time, in discussions of terrorism, gun control, even obesity. Brooke talks to risk analyst Peter Sandman about why they aren't very persuasive.
While the US is focusing on leaks by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden, international journalists have been reporting stories from a massive trove of documents called the "Offshore Leaks" that reveals the mysterious world of offshore tax havens. Brooke talks to Gerard Ryle, the Director of the Center for Public Integrity's International Consortium for Investigative Journalism about coordinating the reporting on these leaks around the world.
This week, President Obama told Charlie Rose that he would like to have a national conversation about government surveillance. Brooke explores what it means to truly have a "national conversation" with the American Library Association's Lynne Bradley, the Constitution Project's Sharon Bradford Franklin, and California Congressman Henry Waxman.
This week, the rush was on to understand Edward Snowden's character and the conversation in the media quickly broke down in to one camp that holds Snowden up as a hero and another that condemns him as a traitor. Brooke examines that dichotomy and suggests another way to think about Snowden.
Marcy Playgound - Emperor
Last Thursday brought leaks that about a government program called PRISM. But while the early reports described a program that had unilateral, unfettered access to companies like Google, Yahoo, and Microsoft, subsequent reports made the program look significantly less intrusive. Brooke talks to Wired's Kim Zetter about the evolution of reporting on PRISM, the perils of national security reporting, and what we still don't know about the government program.
Shortly before last month’s mayoral primary in Pittsburgh an attack ad began airing criticizing one of the mayoral candidates. The ad was paid for by an anonymous third party and ordinarily the search into its provenance would have stopped there. But last year the FCC changed disclosure rules for anonymous attack ads. Brooke talks to Tim McNulty, political reporter for the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, about who paid for the ad and why.
In the summer of 2009, Neda Agha-Soltan became the face of the Iranian Green Revolution after her tragic death by gunshot was caught on cell phone camera and uploaded online for the whole world to see. The international media rushed to put a face to the victim--but the face they used was that of another Iranian woman by the name of Neda Soltani, who was still very much alive. In a piece that originally aired in November of last year, Brooke speaks to Neda Soltani, author of My Stolen Face: The Story of a Dramatic Mistake.
This week saw several revelations about US government surveillance of both Americans and foreigners. Brooke and Bob talk to Washingtonian writer Shane Harris and co-director of the Liberty and National Security Program at the Brennan Center for Justice, Elizabeth Goitein, about the what we can glean from the information that became public this week.
The Oklahoma tornado pressed pause on coverage of the scandal blitz, but only briefly. Blogger Andrew Tyndall of the Tyndall Report found that the tornado filled 91% of the three network evening news hole on Monday, and all of it on Tuesday. But by Wednesday, Tornado coverage dropped to just a third, and scandal crept back in. Brooke talks to political scientist Brendan Nyhan about what it takes for a natural disaster to overwhelm scandal coverage.
In September 1966, Gene Roddenberry dispatched the crew of the Starship Enterprise on its maiden voyage through space and time and into the American living room. It was an inauspicious start, but almost fifty years later the Star Trek universe is still expanding. The new film debuted last weekend with a $70 million opening. In a piece we originally ran in 2006, Brooke explores the various television incarnations of the franchise and the infinitely powerful engine behind it all: the fan.
Star Wars Theme/Star Trek Theme